Monthly Archives: May 2012

HELLO MOTO

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Barcelona with a surprise. We zig zag through the narrow streets of the Barri Gotic and are rewarded with the discovery of the Museo Moto. A neat place full of two wheelers from Catalonia. A historic overview with cruisers and cross. Brands I have never heard of. Museo Moto, a refreshing change to our Gaudi program.

-Matt.

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MALLORCA

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Two nights in a brand new hotel on Mallorca , infinity pool included. Beautiful landscape and ocean views on every corner of this endless complex that stretches out over the cliffs high above of Porto Soller. A different angle on the party isle.

-Matt.

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GENEVA REVIEW – THE FINAL CHAPTER

The Geneva car show marks the end of the winter and the beginning of spring, cosmopolitan and exciting, but above all always controversial and this year was no exception!

Now! normally when I bump into a friend or colleague at the Geneva show the first thing they usually say after greetings have been exchanged is “seen anything good?”, but this year was different. The first thing on most people’s lips was “have you seen the Bentley?” normally accompanied with a look of shock followed swiftly with one of disgust.

Yes! I had seen the Bentley, the night before in fact and yes! I too was shocked. I’m sad to report it was the biggest talking point of the show. Comments I heard ranged from the funny “Looks like a large London taxi” To just plain sad “It looks like a bad Chinese copy” But the question most people asked was “How did that get approved?” when you think how all other products from the VW Empire are so carefully considered. We may never know? The Show car was beautifully made and detailed and let’s hope that Bentley can get its act together and produce a stunning production version, as we know they are quite capable of. 

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This year I only had one day to soak in the Geneva atmosphere, flying in early from Münich and back on the last flight out of town. To see the show in a day is potentially possible due to it’s compact size, but I still had to plan my schedule carefully to see as much as possible.

A quick stop at the home stand to check out everything’s in place. Yes! It’s all there, the muscular RS4 and nuts A1 quattro sit proudly near the front and our new Audi A3 is proving so popular it’s difficult to get a close look. So! It’s off to Ferrari to see if I can catch a glimpse of the brand new 740 HP F12 Berlinetta instead. Having already seen photos, expectations were high and I wasn’t disappointed. With an aggressive front and heavily sculptured flanks, first impressions in the metal are that the F12 looks stunning, but! The proportions of the rear end in side view is a bit squashed and the rear-end graphics really do look like Sid! from Ice age! and although interesting, I’m not totally convinced by the claimed extra downforce stuff about the hole in the fender thing. 

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Beijing calling

PART 9

The final pictures with another BIG star- this time from Citroen. It so cool that is was presented in an unusual way: dark purple paint only brightened with little arty lighting. You couldn't see a lot of the car, anyway it is big and its looking mean. Good Job!

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- Fab.

Beijing calling

PART 8

A collection of Euro Showcars. Nothing brand new but still nice to look at. Another example for you do it wrong is the Chinese Edition showed by a Chinese Brand. Have a close look at the details, it is pretty crazy.

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- Fab.

Beijing calling

PART 6

Time for some "copycat-action". Yes the Chinese Car Industry is young and of course learning Design means a lot of looking at famous examples. Here are two a little bit to close in my eyes, the Huatai Baolige (Cayenne) and the Zotye T600 (Q5). After smiling take them serious- they are cheap and SUV the most favorite type of car.

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- Fab.

GENEVA REVIEW – PART 14

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Final call

A final walk around before I go home. Last impressions. This was Geneva o’ twelve. Less surprises, more production and above all a lot of red cars. Did I see everything? Probably not. The Palexpo seems to grow every year. More hallways with red carpet. Let it be compact in the future. Minimalism is an attitude!

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What do you think of the Bentley? At the cosy show in Switzerland one will bump into old colleagues and friends. Food for thought. To me that is what it is all about. See you in Geneva next year!

-Tjerk.

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CARS & COFFEE

"This is it. Relax and lay back. Welcome to California, dude."

After a hectic week in Motown with all work and no play, this Jack was an even more stressed out boy when the AVIS GPS, road notes and reading glasses (don't ask) didn't compute anymore – and the clock was ticking valuable minutes away of the early rise event in Irvine. It was George's soothing telephone voice that finally navigated me safely into this haven off Taco Bell's and Mazda. "Free parking every Saturday for Cars & Coffee, man – shweet deal", he briefs me in preparation.

And shweet it is!

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I have hardly caught my breath when I bump right into the highlight of the day. A perfect copy of Hans Herrmann's 1970 Le Mans winner – a 917K with personal plates. Welcome to California.

We are in the land of opportunity – and of big, big bucks. Every Saturday morning at 6 AM, they gather; a motley crew of random racers – first come, first serve and the best spots go to the earliest birds in town. Supercars. Street racers. Classics. Rods. Unique wheels, all of them.

George is really into supercars. I can't believe the rods and customs. Others just hang around the cars of their own little club. It's all cool, we all get our fair share.

When we walk up to a pack of Cobras, George tells me that yesterday, on my day of arrival in SoCal, King Cobra himself has departed. The snake pit is in mourning this morning and one car in my top five of all time greats will never look the same anymore.

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Apart from the Shelbys, there's not as many Yanks as one would expect. A perfect '57 Bel Air and slightly faded stock '56 Nomad seem incomplete without their '55 Tri brother, but satisfy my needs nevertheless – especially as they're complemented by a Firebird by-the-book and ditto Camaro.

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Cars constantly come and go. No rigor, no rules and certainly no restraint. Polish till you drop and you can park where you want. See and be seen. Many of the machines look like they come straight out of the showroom – bling all around and shiny tyres. Engines cry left and right to please the crowd. This is a man's world. Fathers bring their sons, gearheads and speedfreaks unite. A spotless Iso Rivolta leaves many of them puzzled though, as it chooses to leave.

We decide to do the same. No, …just one more round. And another surprise. Behind a sunburnt silver Alfa GTV, a brutal bark tears up the air as a purposeful Nip departs the field. There's no such thing as coincidence: the same night on my Facebook routine, it is exactly this samurai speeder that's featured as Top Story - tastefully framed in a vimeo vid. Josh Clason found it first.

-tbc-

- G&G.

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BERLIN TREASURES

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Berlin is still full of hidden treasures. Take a walk behind main street to meet the locals and you will be rewarded. Glueckskind. We had the honour to be invited to a special location in Berlin Mitte. Time has come to a hold in Claerchens Ballhaus. Rough, used, vintage with a warm patina. A spot for insiders.

-Matt.

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